Last week I was chatting to a practice owner looking to franchise and they were asking me what changes they would need to make to their website in order to get Search Engine visibility and a top 3 ranking – and in turn, more patients.
Pretty quickly, the conversation came to talking about what the page title should look like for each location.
Woah, Nelly!! Let’s back up a few steps!
This was a great reminder that sometimes, we, as marketers, only talk about tactics and that leaves people spinning in circles not sure what to do first.
When it comes to SEO, you need to have a view of the forest before you start looking at any trees.
It’s also important to relate SEO directly back to your business goals. At its most basic, SEO makes it easier for potential new patients to find and connect with you.
So, today I am going to share with you “8 Foundational Steps to Optimise Your New Website For Search” – an 8 step to-do list in order to get your website setup for SEO from the start. (Downloadable PDF here)
I will also give you an indication of roughly how long you or your marketing manager should be spending at each step.
1. Choose your CMS + Layout (4-5 Hours)
Many practice owners aren’t aware of how big an impact the website platform (Content Management System) they choose can have on their SEO. There really are only three you should choose from:
1. Squarespace (best for clinics whose websites are focused on strong visuals rather than text)
2. Shopify (best for clinics who also sell products online)
3. WordPress (best for clinics that need to produce a lot of content to compete in SEO – which is the majority of Chiropractors)
2. Setup Google Analytics (0.25 Hours)
Google Analytics has always been a complicated product, and it’s gotten even more complicated. But the main thing you need to do at this stage is simply install it, and Google will track lots of important things that your visitors do on your website :). Once your business is at a stage where you can hire someone to help you with marketing, he or she will be very glad to have all of that data to work with!
3. Discover Keywords (2-4 Hours)
Remember that your patients are your best source of keywords, in the words and phrases they’re already using when they contact you. Start with those phrases and expand your keyword list with terms from Google Suggest and Google Trends.
4. Theme Keywords (2-4 Hours)
You may actually end up with too large a list of keywords for the number of pages on your website. That’s OK. If there are themes that are really important to your business, but you don’t yet have a page, use that as your roadmap for what content you need to create.
5. Site Architecture (4-6 Hours)
Remember, you need a dedicated page for each keyword theme, and your most important pages should be in your primary navigation and linked from your homepage
6. Content Creation (4-40 Hours)
Remember to use headings and think beyond just text-based content. People in general have short attention spans and ‘Googlebot’ will probably read your content more closely than they do! To capture the attention of your audience, create engaging and varied content.
7. Optimise Internal Links (1 Hour)
Once the bulk of your content is created, go back and cross-link your most important pages, using the anchor text you want them to rank for.
8. Optimise Title Tags (2 Hours)
The final, and arguably most important, step in on-site optimisation is to write compelling, keyword-rich Title Tags to tell Google what each page is about, and to encourage searchers to click through when they see that page ranking in search results.
Whilst you might not be able to (or want to) do each of these steps it is paramount that practice owners recognise the importance of having an approach like this in order to ensure that you are appearing in search engines when your leads are looking for you!
Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.